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Youth Trends: Blogosphere on Rural India

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After our first edition of Youth Trends where we talked about what the blogosphere was discussing about the Indian youth, we bring forth our next edition of Youth Trends and this time we are discussing rural India.

With the interests of the corporate world increasing in the rural market and the consurmer base growing their, rural India is certainly emerging as a trending topic. We present below the voice of the blogosphere on rural India.

  1. Rural to Urban Migration Associated With Increased Obesity and Diabetes Risk in India: ScienceDaily (May 3, 2010) – Migration from rural to urban areas is associated with increasing levels of obesity and is a factor driving the diabetes epidemic in India, according to a new study published in PLoS Medicine. India, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a diabetes epidemic. Diabetes has increased in urban areas of India from 5% to 15% between 1984 and 2004. (read more)
  2. Inventor improves clean water access in rural India:Dr. BP Agrawal has won the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability, and for good reason! He’s innovated a new rainwater harvesting system for communities in India:Aakash Ganga (AG) is one of the signature innovations that Dr. BP Agrawal developed under Sustainable Innovations (SI), a non-profit organization. SI harvests innovations in systems, technologies and entrepreneurship to build holistically sustainable social enterprises. (read more)
  3. Lifeline Express, Hospital On Rails, Brings Health Care To Rural India:
    In India, a country with a public health care system that is dangerously overstretched, large parts of the country have limited or no access to basic medical care. This is not a unique problem in developing nations, but in India the situation is especially dire. The Wall Street Journal reports that government spending on health, at 3 percent, is among the lowest in the world. (read more)
  4. India’s Rural Cell Movement: Can You Hear Me Now?
    Last time I was in India I wrote about the amazing business model innovation that had allowed telecom operators to make money on a paltry $6 a month per average user. That compares to a desired average monthly payment of $50 or more in the U.S.

    The results have been phenomenal–550 million people in India have phones, and it has transformed the poorer service economy by giving them an affordable way to be reached and arrange jobs. (read more)

  5. Duron: How to Sell Plug-&-Play Solar to Rural India
    A startup based in Bangalore, India, is selling an off-the-shelf device for less than the cost of a one-night stay in an average hotel in downtown San Francisco that can offer rural Indians a way to generate and store solar power, charge cell phones and other appliances, and run a set of LED lights. The startup is 2-year-old Duron, and the device, also called the Duron, retails for about 5,999 rupees, or around $130, John Howard, Duron’s co-founder and president, explained to me on a Skype call interview. (read more)
  6. Irrigation Systems in India Decrease Monsoon Rainfall:
    Monsoon rainfall, researchers have found, is decreasing in parts of rural India where irrigation systems have been used to support agricultural production. At the same time, rainfall is increasing in heavily-developed urban areas.
    Based on more than 50 years of rainfall data, a new study conducted at Purdue University has uncovered one possible reason for this shift that has serious implications for India, and the world.
    Dr. Dev Niyogi, associate professor of agronomy and earth and atmospheric sciences, explained: (read more)
  7. India: Corruption Of Rural Teachers
    Lekhni at The Imagined Universe talks about an ingenious method of corruption by some teachers from rural areas of India – they bribe to get themselves suspended from their jobs so that “they would keep receiving 50 per cent of the monthly salary (without working) and pursue other lucrative jobs.” (read more)
  8. India’s Barefoot Solar Engineers Are Building a Brighter Future
    Throughout India there are many rural villages that are completely removed from the grid. With no source of power for cooking, light, and heating they currently must rely on firewood, kerosene or diesel for fuel. Now green jobs are blossoming throughout these remote areas as the Orissa Tribal Empowerment & Livelihoods Programme trains women and youth to become barefoot solar engineers. This brilliant initiative provides a bright future for the semi-literate and illiterate rural poor by teaching them to harness the sun through the construction of photovoltaic systems and solar powered lanterns. (read more)

In the coming weeks, Youth Ki Awaaz will bring more such enriching content from around the blogosphere.

You blog, we trend!

DISCLAIMER: Youth Ki Awaaz does not testify the accuracy of the blog posts we link to.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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